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Willard Clifford Olson
Regent's Proceedings 595

Dean Willard Clifford Olson of the School of Education is commencing his formal retirement after forty-one years on the active faculty.

A native Minnesotan, Dean Olson earned three degrees from the University of Minnesota, taught in. that University for six years, and served for an interim period as a principal and school superintendent in Minnesota schools. He came to The University of Michigan in 1929, with the rank of Associate Professor of Education, to direct research in the new University Elementary School. He was promoted to Professor in 1935, was appointed also Professor of Psychology in the Literary College in 1946, and was made Dean of the School of Education in 1952.

Dean Olson enjoys an international reputation for his research into the patterns of growth and mental development in children. It was his mission ceaselessly to remind teachers and school administrators of individual differences among children and of the need to accommodate these in all systems of collective education. His published works, of which the best known is the book Child Development, have been widely used throughout the United States and have appeared in numerous foreign translations. Active in professional associations internationally, he attended innumerable conferences abroad as association official, participant, and United States delegate. Within the country he lectured widely, presided over research societies was an officer and council member of organizations devoted to the several fields of education and psychology, and served as a committeeman and consultant of the National Research Council, the United States Office of Education, and other federal agencies or bodies.

Locally, Dean Olson was of necessity deeply involved in those relationships, among schools of the University and between the University and the public schools, which defined the University's participation in public school education, and he assumed as well a heavy burden of consultative and committee work in adjoining fields. In the Education School, he sought rather to foster than to direct the programs of instruction and research. He was careful to preserve, in research, a tentative and experimental spirit and, in action, as one of his colleagues expressed it, "the ideal temper for professional service."

The Regents of the University salute this tireless and versatile scholar and administrator, with gratitude alike for his serving this institution well and for his enhancing its fame. They now cordially extend to him all privileges of the titles for which he is eligible: Dean Emeritus of the School of Education and Professor Emeritus of Education and of Psychology.